2lb ‘sugar bag’ premature Wakefield baby could be home for Xmas

Claire Campbell and partner Russell Young with baby Bella Grace
Claire Campbell and partner Russell Young with baby Bella Grace
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A MUM whose tiny three-month premature baby girl was born weighing less than a bag of sugar is backing a hospital trust’s bid to help raise awareness of premature birth.

First time mother Claire Campbell, from Wakefield, had to undergo an emergency caesarian section 16 hours after going into labour three months early as her baby daughter Bella Grace was in a breech position.

Bella Grace, who weighed just 2lb 1oz when she was born on Sunday September 21, was taken to the neonatal unit at Pinderfields Hospital, where she was placed in an incubator and wired up to a ventilator and medication.

Miss Campbell, 34, described the six day wait before she could hold her baby for the first time as “heartbreaking.”

Now Bella Grace is just over seven-weeks-old and is a healthy 3lb 11oz. Miss Campbell and her partner Russell Young, 49, are hoping she will be released from hospital before Christmas.

Miss Campbell is backing the Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust’s bid to raise awareness of babies who are born prematurely ahead of World Prematurity Day on Monday.

UK charity Bliss, which provides care and support for all premature and sick babies and their families, estimates 60,000 babies will be born prematurely in the UK over the next 12 months.

Miss Campbell said she felt “emotional and shocked,” adding: “I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know if she would make it through. She was so tiny, with all wires on her. The doctors said everything should be fine, they were fantastic.

“She is doing really well now. She is breathing and feeding on her own. It’s brilliant, amazing. When my and my partner got to hold her for the first time it was fantastic, the best feeling in the world. It was heartbreaking not being able to hold her.”

Miss Campbell said doctors were unable to pinpoint a reason why she went into labour prematurely, adding: “I was fine all the way through, it was a really healthy pregnancy.”

She added: “It is absolutely fantastic what the doctors and nurses do on the neonatal unit at Pinderfields. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in Bella Grace’s care. We owe them everything.”

Julia Thomas, neonatal Nurse at Pinderfields, said: “Care at our neonatal units is the very best way to ensure that the smallest and sickest babies get the best possible care and the best chance of surviving healthily. Having a premature or sick baby can be traumatic but all neonatal staff know that parents are under stress and are there to help and support them, as well as their baby.”